Camping with canines

Camping is the perfect way to appreciate nature, as it takes one away from the daily hustle and bustle and technology overload. It’s also an ideal way to spend “quality time” with your family and four-legged friend. Have you ever read Ruffing It, a perennial summer favorite on Amazon, or shopped online at Outward Hound or Muttropolis? Here’s a list of items you may want to consider when camping with your best friend:

1. Dog backpacks: If your dog needs “a job” (as many trainers suggest) purchase a doggie backpack. There’s a proliferation of them on the market, in all shapes, sizes, and price points. Waterproof, easily adjustable, and loaded with compartments, you may want to give the dog the car keys on your next adventure so they won’t get lost.

2. Dog containment system: A pop-up portable pet house with claw proof mesh vents that can be used in the car, it also doubles as a tent (of which there are many) although good luck trying to get your dog to pitch and sleep in it.

3. Lifejacket: Are all dogs natural swimmers? If you can’t answer that question, consider a lifejacket for pups who just want to get their paws wet, or dogs who want to swim in rough and fast-moving waters.

4. Bike carrier: For the small dog and her parents who love to cycle, this one’s for you; it attaches easily to a bike and doubles as a carrier.

5. Traveling water bottle and bowl: This particular bottle holds 25 ounces of water and has a patented lid (that works as a bowl) designed for the dogs’ natural drinking style. Any collapsible bowl will work (you can put it in the dog’s backpack) and you can share water from your own bottle.

6. Dog tracking collar: Check the leash laws at your campsite (many require that you keep dogs on leashes) but if your little guy likes to wander and does not have a microchip, what about his own GPS sensor and antenna to ensure he won’t get lost? You might want to do some research on pet-friendly campsites, just in case.

7. Power bars for pup: There are many energy bars on the market for people. But, what about pet power bars? Check out TurboPup, a line of complete meal bars that are 100 per cent natural and interchangeable with dog food. Perfect for day-long hikes or bike trips. When you want one, chances are, your dog will as well.

8. The essentials: Don’t forget to pack food, snacks, poop bags, sturdy leash (or two), Frisbee and balls, medicine, first-aid kit, ID tags, and brush. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, that you’ve applied a flea and tick preventative and packed a comfortable pad or bed or the pooch to sleep on. Did you remember the sunscreen?

And don’t forget to have fun: Dogs make fabulous camping companions. They love the beach, the woods, and the mountains as much as we do — and they’re always ready for the next adventure.